Solving Mexico's Sargasso Problems
A Solution for Seaweed-Free Beaches in Quintana Roo, Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen
With the sargassum problem reaching record levels worldwide, Mexico's pristine beaches in Cozumel, Quintana Roo, and Cancun are also suffering from the resulting negative impacts on tourism. Understandably, vacationers are reluctant to visit locations where the swimming areas and beaches are overwhelmed with sargassum seaweed. But, there are cost-effective solutions available that will keep beaches clean with little ongoing maintenance.
Mexico Beaches & Seaweed: What is it & Why the Concern
Sargassum is a type of seaweed (sometimes incorrectly referred to as sargassum algae) that grows in floating colonies in tropical locations such as the Gulf of Mexico. It is a natural food source for many species of aquatic wildlife, including certain varieties of sea turtles. Additionally, it provides a habitat for plankton, fish, and other oceanic wildlife.
However, in recent years, the combination of warmer temperatures and increased water pollution from fertilizers and other elements have triggered an explosive growth of sargassum. This overabundance of sargazo along Mexico's beaches creates a serious problem for resorts and communities dependent on tourism including:
- Quintana Roo
- Playa del Carmen
- Riviera Maya
- And Other Areas Along the Yucatan Peninsula
Mexico's Sargazo Problem
The primary concerns with sargassum seaweed outbreaks in Mexico's beach-front communities include:
- Swimming areas filled with sargassum seaweed provides an unpleasant swimming experience for beach-goers.
- Thick layers of sargassum on the beaches become unsightly and unattractive.
- As the seaweed decomposes, it emits strong smelling, toxic, and corrosive fumes.
Many resorts are hoping that the outbreak is fleeting and doesn't last long. Unfortunately, the seaweed problem on Mexico's beaches is rarely short-lived. But by the time the beach resort or community recognizes the magnitude of the resulting reservation cancellation rates, the negative financial impact for the season is irrecoverable.
Beach Seaweed Removal: Ineffective & Endless
Beach seaweed removal is one of the most common solutions chosen by resorts and communities new to experiencing the effects of a seaweed outbreak. Beach seaweed removal is generally not a good solution, and is regarded as a reactive solution that attempts to fix the problem after the fact. It is sometimes used when the outbreak is short-lived, or as a clean up measure after other control measures have been put in place.
Other concerns with beach sargassum removal include:
- Seaweed Beach Removal is Ineffective. Removing seaweed from the beach during a sargassum outbreak is never ending. As soon as the seaweed is removed more washes ashore. Also, removal fails to help with swimming or boating areas.
- Harvesting Equipment Investment: Removing seaweed from the beaches can require expensive motorized harvesting equipment, along with the high operational costs for manning, maintaining, and repairing the equipment.
- Seaweed Disposal Problems. After the seaweed is removed from the beach, it is transported to an approved location for long-term decomposition (away from populated areas and public water sources). Not only costly, decomposing sargassum seaweed can cause:
- toxic fumes
- hydrogen sulfide poisoning with flu-like symptoms
- copper corrosion
- damage to expensive equipment (such as air conditioning units, plumbing, and electric systems).
A Better Solution for Mexico's Sargassum Problem: Floating Containment Barrier
Thankfully, there is a better solution for Mexico's sargassum problem on the beaches. Floating Containment Boom (also called floating barrier) provides proactive protection, keeping seaweed (and also floating trash and debris) far away from beach and swimming areas. Simple to install and available in long-lasting styles, floating containment boom forms a long-lasting barrier that is much more effective in keeping beaches, marinas and swimming areas clear of sargassum, and for a fraction of the cost.
Simply install the floating containment boom along the perimeter of the swimming area. This floating barrier prevents any floating debris (whether seaweed or trash) from passing into the swimming and beach area. The swimming areas are kept clear and pristine, as are the beaches, without the constant manual intervention required with beach seaweed removal.
If protecting a marina, we can help you design an installation design that will significantly minimize the reach of sargazo while allowing safe boater passage. Just ask us for assistance, we're happy to help.
For more information about how the Floating Seaweed Barrier can help to solve Mexico's sargazo problem, please see: Sargassum Beach Resort Solution.
GEI Works is a worldwide leader in protecting beaches from sargassum and debris. We manufacture durable, quality-made floating containment boom and barrier at affordable prices, and ship worldwide. Installation services are also available. Contact us for your free price quote today!